FAC1502

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A simple, paper-based accounting system

Contents

Accounting concepts, principles and procedures

Introduction

This is a basic financial accounting course that covers some "high school" accounting. The syllabus teachers everything from a sole proprietor's manual accounting system.

If you have done accountancy at school, this course should not present any problems for you, other than the fact that terminology used a school is not always the same for this course, for example Provision for Bad Debts used at school level is Provision for Credit Losses for the UNISA course. HOWEVER - students whether they have done accounts to matric or not need to practice, practice and practice to cope with the work load and the requirements of this course. Because you have done accounting to matric, does NOT mean you can "coast" on this course.

It is extremely important that you master this subject as it will give you a solid foundation therefore making your other accounting subjects much easier.

The Unisa syllabus

  • Journals
  • General ledger
  • Closing off procedure
  • Trial balance
  • Adjustments
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Basic financial reporting

The FAC1502 textbook

Prescribed textbook

ISBN 9780409105377
Title: About Financial Accounting Vol 1
Author: Berry, de Klerk, Doussy, du Plooy
Edition: 3rd
Publisher: LexisNexis
Year published: 2009
Year prescribed: 2011

Prescribed Text book is very helpful and has very good exercises. Used in conjuction with the Students Study Guide, you will have very useful tools to use to ensure you complete the course successfully.

Recommended reading

The FAC1502 exam

The exam asks the more challenging part of the syllabus such as financial statements, adjustments, etc.

Past exam papers

The exam in May 2012

The exam consisted of 5 questions:

  1. Financial statements (this counted the most)
  2. Property, plant and equipment, working out depreciation
  3. Incomplete records, gross profit or loss
  4. Bank reconciliation
  5. General ledger accounts

The exam in May/June 2011

There were questions on:

  1. Bank account and reconciliation
  2. Debtor control account and credit control account
  3. Trial balance, adjustments and statement of comprehensive
  4. Equipment, accumulated depreciation and asset realisation

The exam in May/June 2009

The preparation of the cash receipts and cash payments journals was asked (VAT included). A completed capital account was given and we were required to prepare the Statement of Changes in Equity. We were required to prepare the note for Property, Plant and Equipment from given asset and accumulated depreciation accounts. We were required to record adjustments (depreciation, prepaid expenses, etc) in the general journal, and to prepare a Statement of Comprehensive Income based on the adjusted transactions and given trial balance. We had to prepare the membership fees ledger account based on given transactions, as well as an income and expenditure statement.

Overall, the exam was not too bad. However, we had to be fully aware of the formats of the various statements - in some cases, we were required to work backwards. A thorough understanding of the work and lots of practice were needed to pass the exam.

How to pass FAC1502

Study tips

  • If you are new to accounting and have not studied it at school, the discussion class held by lecturers in the major cities is a big help as well as the tutorial class help by the UNISA learning centre (cost -R100)
  • Accounting is skill. Unlike content subjects it requires constant repetition (such as regularly hearing the principles it in a tutorial class) and constant practice (such as examples, worked papers and assignments).
  • It helps to study the textbook a chapter at a time and then to make your own summary of it. When exam time comes around, you don't want to be reading pages and pages of theory.
  • Make sure you know the content of the textbook well, before you attempt the assignments. A good mark for your assignments could mean the difference between a pass and a fail.
  • Practise the comprehensive example in tutorial letter 101 as it gives you a good idea of what to expect in the exam.
  • Try to follow the suggested times for each question in the exam – students usually run out of time when they spend too long on certain questions.
  • Remember to show calculations – they're worth valuable marks.

Useful links

  • Face to Face Accounts - You can download some FAC1502 templates from this site, run by a Varsity College lecturer.

Study notes

Download notes

AuthorDownload linkYear createdDescription
Storm Study notes 2010 Syllabus summary
       

Create notes online

Student opinions

Student survey

Pros of FAC1502

  • If you took accounting at school and you are still proficient with it, you will not have too much trouble with this module.
  • If you choose to form your own sole proprietorship, the knowledge you gain from this subject will allow you to keep your own accounting records.

Cons of FAC1502

  • It is not an easy course and the syllabus appears broad, which is common to accounting. The phrase "they can ask you anything" is often used by tutors.
  • If you do not have a tutor and have never done accounting before, then you may struggle with this subject.
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